The ;Law ;Society ;of Scotland is gearing up to overhaul its governance structure for the first time in its six-decade history.
Currently, the society, which celebrates its 60th anniversary next year, is run by a 50-strong council elected on a geographical basis.
Society president Richard Henderson said this system has become outmoded, particularly as just three of the 50 are non-lawyers who lack voting powers.
“Sixty years of the same structure in a changing environment puts some strain on the machine,” said Henderson. “There’s a weighted vote on the council, so the rural constituents may have a greater representation now than the numbers might indicate. With the growth of urban practices over 60 years, there’s an imbalance.”
Henderson added that a greater degree of non-lawyer input would be desirable. “Three out of 50 is at the very least a minimum, and that’s attracted criticism from other groups,” he said.
A four-strong strategic group ;will ;consider ;a range of options, including issues such as the possible introduction of alternative business structures. “If ;we’re ;going ;to modernise the profession the Law Society has to look at how it manages its own affairs,” added Henderson.